We must now consider the period which is just drawing to a close
as almost the last stage of our national resurrection, and prepare ourselves
to finish worthily the marvelous design of the elect of twenty generations,
the completion of which Providence has reserved for this fortunate age.
Yes, young men, Italy owes to you an undertaking which has merited
the applause of the universe. You have conquered and you will conquer still,
because you are prepared for the tactics that decide the fate of battles.
You are not unworthy of the men who entered the ranks of a Macedonian phalanx,
and who contended not in vain with the proud conquerors of Asia. To this
wonderful page in our country's history another more glorious still will
be added, and the slave shall show at last to his free brothers a sharpened
sword forged from the links of his fetters.
To arms, then, all of you! all of you! And the oppressors and the
mighty shall disappear like dust. You, too, women, cast away all the cowards
from your embraces; they will give you only cowards for children, and you
who are the daughters of the land of beauty must bear children who are
noble and brave. Let timid doctrinaires depart from among us to carry their
servility and their miserable fears elsewhere. This people is its own master.
It wishes to be the brother of other peoples, but to look on the insolent
with a proud glance, not to grovel before them imploring its own freedom.
It will no longer follow in the trail of men whose hearts are foul. No!
Providence has presented Italy with Victor Emmanuel. Every Italian
should rally round him. By the side of Victor Emmanuel every quarrel should
be forgotten, all rancor depart. Once more I repeat my battle-cry: "To
arms, all-all of you!" If March, 1861, does not find one million of
Italians in arms, then alas for liberty, alas for the life of Italy. Ah,
no, far be from me a thought which I loathe like poison. March of 1861,
or if need be February, will find us all at our post-Italians of Calatafimi,
Palermo, Ancona, the Volturno, Castelfidardo, and Isernia, and with us
every man of this land who is not a coward or a slave. Let all of us rally
round the glorious hero of Palestro and give the last blow to the crumbling
edifice of tyranny. Receive, then, my gallant young volunteers, at the
honored conclusion of ten battles, one word of farewell from me.
I utter this word with deepest affection and from the very bottom
of my heart. Today I am obliged to retire, but for a few days only. The
hour of battle will find me with you again, by the side of the champions
of Italian liberty. Let those only return to their homes who are called
by the imperative duties which they owe to their families, and those who
by their glorious wounds have deserved the credit of their country. These,
indeed, will serve Italy in their homes by their counsel, by the very aspect
of the scars which adorn their youthful brows. Apart from these, let all
others remain to guard our glorious banners. We shall meet again before
long to march together to the redemption of our brothers who are still
slaves of the stranger. We shall meet again before long to march to new
Giuseppe Garibaldi - 1860